6 Essentials For Your Outdoor Cooking Needs

Are you planning to cook over a grill this summer? There are many things that you need to consider such as the fuel source, food storage and cooking equipment.

An outdoor kitchen can range from modest to fully outfitted depending on what you are looking for in a party space. However, it is usually advised to go bigger than you think you want so you always have what you need. Going smaller may cause issues down the road with trying to expand and add-on. 

Make the choices that help you out with convenience and quality of life improvements as long as you can afford it. Smaller appliances are things that are usually cost-friendly, and they can raise the enjoyment level f your outdoor kitchen by quite a lot, without raising the price much. 

Ice Maker

Every good host knows that ice is one of the most coveted things at any party, especially if you are outside. While you can just purchase ice from the store and put it in a cooler, you always risk it melting and running out. 

Hand holding a ice on a ice box.
The best way to avoid any ice incidents is to put an ice maker in your outdoor kitchen.

The best way to avoid any ice incidents is to put an ice maker in your outdoor kitchen. You can purchase many different ones that make different kinds of ice for everyone to enjoy. The most you usually need for one of these appliances is a power source and a hookup to the water line.

Side Burners

So, you have your grill and your oven but what do you do if all of those cooking spaces are full or you need to keep something warm or bubbling while serving? This is where a couple of side burners can come in handy. 

Basically, you would just put in two separate burners next to the grill. They could run from the same gas that your grill does, or you could choose an electric one and it would only need a power source. 

A kitchen with side burner.
This would allow you to have a few extra cooking surfaces.

This would allow you to have a few extra cooking surfaces, or keep certain parts of your meal warm while you serve it. This way no one gets cold food and you don’t have to shuffle different pots and pans to ensure everything is cooked and ready around the same time. 

Pizza Oven

One of the best foods to make for a party is pizza and you could even bring it up a notch by making your own pizza. However, an oven doesn’t quite anyways cook the pizza the exact way you want it.

Most of the time, ovens cause the pizza to have the same amount of crispiness all the way around, including the toppings and most people only want the crust to be crispy with everything else just hot and ready. 

A pizza oven.
A pizza oven is a perfect way to cook multiple pizzas at once

A pizza oven is a perfect way to cook multiple pizzas at once, ensuring that everyone gets their pizzas to be cooked the exact way they want them to. Not only does it look nice, but it adds an element to dinner and party food that normal ovens don’t quite match. 

Warming Drawer

If you need to warm up some bread or keep an appetizer or two warms until the guest gets there, you definitely don’t want to heat up the oven or keep them in there and risk burning the food. However, a great addition to your outdoor kitchen is a warming drawer

You can set the temperature you prefer to keep everything at, and this drawer will do just that. This is perfect for keeping fondue warm until time to eat, or even just warming up bread and butter for a better experience. 

A warming drawer is quicker and more convenient than an oven, and it warms things more evenly than a microwave. This is simply a must-have addition to your outdoor kitchen.

Wine Refridgerator/Beverage Coolers

Whether you are a drinker or not, you will have some sort of beverages needed at any gathering you have outdoors. While you can always keep your drinks in the refrigerator or in a cooler with some ice, you could also keep a beverage cooler or wine refrigerator consistently stocked with some favorite drinks. 

A wine refridgerator.
You could keep a beverage cooler or wine refrigerator consistently stocked with some favorite drinks. 

Making sure drinks are consistently stocked in a temperature-controlled or cooling place allows for spontaneous parties with cool drinks to happen at any time, no matter how hot or random. 

Built-In Grill

While you may have your oven and stove, maybe even a smoker, there are still many things that just cook better on a grill than anywhere else. No matter what type of grill you want to purchase, you can usually have it built into your cabinet space, so it fits in well with your kitchen. 

Your grill would need a way to chase out the propane tanks or a gas line if you want it to be hooked up. If you choose to use electricity, you would, of course, need a way to plug it in. 

No matter the type of grill you have, you need to ensure proper ventilation and heat protection for your other materials. Without proper ventilation, you risk filling up the area with smoke and chemicals that are being burned off the fuel source. 

A food being cooked in a griller.
There are still many things that just cook better on a grill than anywhere else.

Without proper heat protection, the counters and other appliances that may be near your grill could overheat or catch fire; this is a risk that can spread to your entire home. You need to make sure whatever grill you purchase can be equipt with a thermal jacket to protect the other materials. 

You can not use after-market jackets or use ones for different brand grills because they won’t fit perfectly and will allow too much heat to affect the other materials and appliances. 

Final Thoughts

Having an outdoor kitchen is phenomenal, but only if it is truly outfitted with what you need. If you don’t have all your appliances and supplies outside, you may as well just be using the indoor kitchen instead. 

Plan out everything you need before you start building your kitchen; even if it is only out of convenience, it is most likely worth it. Adding something is rarely a regret while forgetting something is a bigger issue. 

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